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We Cannot Manipulate God's Power

Galatians 3:4-5
Have you experienced so much in vain – if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (NIVUK)

Where does the power of God come from?  Obviously, only from God.  Yet some false teachers were saying that God gives His Spirit to those who are good and deserve His presence.  But that cannot be true, Paul argued.  The biggest miracle is that a sinful person can be made a child of God.  That is God’s free gift and only happens when the Holy Spirit comes into a person who believes in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9).  After that He may enable all kinds of other miracles, not because the person does everything right, but because God chooses to give His grace to those who believe the gospel (Hebrews 2:4).
If only good people receive the Spirit, nobody would, because all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).  So the Holy Spirit is given to sinners!  Yes – but only to those sinners who admit their sin and believe that Jesus has taken the punishment for all their wrong-doing.  That is God’s grace which leads to multiple miracles in the life of a believer.  If we could earn God’s Spirit, then we would be able to manipulate God’s power – but we cannot.  He gives His Spirit only to sinners who ask Jesus for salvation.
Human beings are prone to think that they can create their own world and manipulate God into serving their desires.  It is a demonic lie, but one which is often found more in religious people than those who have no respect for God.  The truth is that we can do nothing to manipulate God, or to get Him to obey us or to release His miraculous power over us. God is God, supreme and sovereign.  He alone is holy.

The only thing we can do is to admit our unholiness, our weakness and our helplessness; and ask for His forgiveness and receive His miraculous new start as we believe in Jesus.  As we submit to Him, the Holy Spirit is given to us. It is His gift; nothing that we deserve.

Holy God. Thank You for offering salvation to sinners like me, and the promise of Your Holy Spirit to live in me, making miraculous changes in my heart and life. Forgive me when I slip back into old ways of thinking, somehow assuming that my good works can earn Your favour. I know that is not true. Please help me to welcome the presence of Your Holy Spirit with gratitude, and accept the miracles He will do in changing my heart and life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams